Photo: Ana Gujabidze/UNDP

“We are single mothers, women migrants, women in low-paid jobs. We fall victims of abuse at work. We face discrimination in property rights. We carry an unequal burden of housework. We live next to you. Listen to us. Talk to us. Change the reality.”

These are the main messages of a social campaign “We Need Equality” launched by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Government of Sweden today, 13 September 2018, in Tbilisi.

An interactive creative event featured a symbolic women’s home, inhabited by several women who face invisible barriers on the way to economic independence, empowerment and professional development. Each of the presented stories was based on a real case and the event guests – representatives of the Georgian parliament, government, civil society and the media – had an opportunity to hear them from the lead characters directly.

“Sweden is very happy to work with Georgia on gender equality, which is a common and global struggle. Women and men must have the same power to shape society and their own lives. This a fundamental matter of human rights, democracy and social justice, but it is also essential for the achievement of any other objective. No sustainable peace, security, development or welfare can be achieved if half the population is excluded. The broad representation here today, from different parts of society, is a good example of the commitment in Georgia,” said Ulrik Tideström, Ambassador of Sweden to Georgia.

“Georgia faces 35% gender pay gap, alarming statistics of gender-based violence and low participation of women in economic and political life. Removing the visible and invisible barriers that hamper economic advancement of women is critical for achieving gender equality, protecting human rights and promoting sustainable economic growth of the country,” said Munkhtuya Altangerel, Deputy Head of UNDP in Georgia.

Irina Pruidze, member of the Gender Equality Council of the Parliament of Georgia stressed the importance of public discussion in addressing the issues related to gender equality.

“The campaign We Need Equality will reach out to people in all regions of Georgia to raise questions, stir debate and help find solutions,” Irina Pruidze said.    

The campaign “We Need Equality” was launched a year ago, in September 2017, focusing on political participation of women. Its second wave in 2018-2019 advocates for women’s economic empowerment and calls to examine and address all factors that constrain Georgian women from participating in the labour market or succeeding as entrepreneurs. 

After the launch in Tbilisi, “We Need Equality” will move to the regions of Georgia.

The campaign is carried out by UNDP under the UN Joint Programme for Gender Equality in Georgia funded by the Government of Sweden.

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